Walden (#2) Henry David Thoreau 1 My furniture, part of which I made myself, and the rest cost me nothing of which I have not rendered an account, consisted of a bed, a table, a desk, three chairs, a. Walden (#2) Henry David Thoreau 1 My furniture, part of which I made myself, and the rest cost me nothing of which I have not rendered an account, consisted of a bed, a table, a desk, three chairs, and looking-glass three inches in diameter, a pair of tongs and andirons, a kettle, a skillet, and a frying-pan, a dipper, a wash-bowl, two knives and forks, three plates, one cup, one spoon, a jug for oil, a jug for molasses, and a japanned lamp. No one is so poor that he need sit on a pumpkin. That is shiftlessness. There is a plenty of such chairs as I like best in the village garrets to be had for taking them away. Furniture! 2 Thank God, I can sit and I can stand without the aid of a furniture warehouse. What man but a philosopher would not be ashamed to see his furniture packed in a cart and going up country exposed to the light of heaven and the eyes of men, a beggarly account of empty boxes? That is Spaulding?s furniture. I could never tell from inspecting such a load whether it belonged to a so called rich man or a poor one; the owner always seemed poverty-stricken. Indeed, the more you have of such things the poorer you are. 3 Each load looks as if it contained the contents of a dozen shanties; and if one shanty is so poor, this is a dozen times as poor. Pray, for what do we move ever but to get rid of our furniture, our exuvi, at last to go from this worked to another newly furnished, and leave this to be burned? It is the same as if all these tropes were buckled to a man?s belt, and he could not move over the rough country where our lines are cast without dragging them, —dragging his trap. He was a lucky fox that left his tail in the trap. The muskrat will gnaw his third leg off to be free. No wonder man has lost his elasticity. How often he is at a dead set! “Sir, if I may be so bold, what do you mean by a dead set?” If you are a seer, whenever you meet a man you will see all that he owns, ay, and much that he pretends to disown, behind him, even to his kitchen furniture and all the trumpery which he saves and will not burn, and he will appear to be harnessed to it and making what headway he can. I think that the man is at a dead set who has got through a knot-hole or gateway where his sledge load of furniture cannot follow him. I cannot but feel compassion when I hear some trig, compact-looking man, seemingly free, all girded and ready, speak of his “furniture,” as whether it is insured or not. 4 “But what shall I do with my furniture?” My gay butterfly is entangled in a spider?s web then. Even those who seem for a long while not to have any, if you inquire more narrowly you will find have some stored in somebody?s barn. I look upon England to-day as an old gentleman who is traveling with a great deal of baggage, trumpery which has accumulated from long housekeeping, which he has not the courage to burn; great trunk, like trunk bandbox and bundle. Throw away the first three at least. It would surpass the powers of a well man nowadays to take up his bed and walk, and I should certainly advise a sick one to lay down his bed and run. 5 When I have met an immigrant tottering under a bundle which contained his all?looking like an enormous wen which had grown out of the nape of his neck?I have pitied him, not because that was his all, but because he had all that to carry. If I have got to drag my trap, I will take care that it be a light one and do not nip me in a vital part. But perchance it would be wisest never to put one?s paw into it. QUESTIONS— Read the passage on the left to answer the following questions: 7) What attitude toward furniture does Thoreau display in this passage? A) The less furniture and “stuff” you have, the more free you are. B) Furniture is a superfluous possession that no one need purchase. C) Furniture is fine, but it should be as plain and useful as possible. D) The only furniture to have is the kind you can burn when you are done with it. 8) Which response BEST describes Thoreau’s opinion of worldly possessions (like furniture)? A) He thinks they show a man’s value. B) He thinks they are a burden and a trap. C) He thinks they will impress other people. D) He thinks they have no value unless they are homemade.